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It's All in a Name: Keepin' it Cool in Charleston

The city kept the name "Cool Blow Street…." and that in itself is cool....Here's why:

Ever wondered how this street got its “cool” name? (If you thought it might be a wink and a nod to the illegal drug trade, you'd be wrong.....though parts of the area do look a tad dodgy....)

As it turns out, back in 1834 “Cool Blow” was actually the name of a farm in the vicinity. "Cool Blow Plantation" was owned by a Josiah Payne. The land it seems , was part of a marriage settlement in 1791, between two old Charleston families, the Paynes and Touens.

When Josiah died his 1857, his family sold some of the land for development and the area became known as Cool Blow Village..... This "cool" but not so popular antebellum neighborhood existed from where today's Cool Blow Street is, to the east by Hanover Street, and to the west by Meeting Street. (The eastern portion of this land, however, was marshland that had to be filled in order to lay out the streets. The name, they say, refers to the cool winds that came in off the river…. which must've been nice, since air conditioning hadn't been invented yet......

'Though the exact reason for the name remains a bit of a mystery, one thing about the village is for sure....They certainly didn't have a really cool coffee shop/bakery like Diggity Donuts, back then. Would things be different if they had served the most amazing homemade donuts this side of the Mason-Dixon? ( If they had, we're pretty sure the war would have ended sooner and Cool Blow would've been even cooler with Diggity peanut butter sriracha donuts available to all....(never mind the fact that they could have had the best gluten-free apple fritter donuts ever tasted in the history of man... and then some....)

With such 'cool' history all around us, it's no wonder downtown Charleston is a very popular destination for walking tours. In fact, many of our city’s oldest and most obscure alleys (with cool names) lead down rather charming and historic paths that predate the invention of the automobile (they're so narrow!)....The alleys still exist... and they are charming as ever.. You know what else is cool? These alleys are all public property and well worth exploring…even if you are a local.....

When's the last time you explored Zig Zag Alley for example?....Do you even know where it is?

Named for it's meandering course, it lies between Atlantic and Meeting Streets. This cool little alley may no longer have a street sign, but it's still there for the exploration.... so check it out....if you don't go see'll.....

what you are missing.....

Word to the wise, however.....Although it's still public property, be cool, because the alley is so narrow, you don't want to disturb the residents along the way...

Until next week, we're keepin' it cool in A.C. at a time....

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